I’m done for the holidays. Yup, the next two weeks belong to me and my family. After 28 years in a supervisory or managerial role and 15 years of training people about taking care of their people I would be hypocritical to do anything else.
The last ten years of supervising people I made it a point to make sure everyone knew this was a different time of the year. Liberal leave, skeleton crews, days off, longer lunches and earlier departures from the desk were granted on a fair and consistent level. Yes, we had work to be done, and we did it. I made sure that for the last part of December we didn’t take on major issues unless absolutely necessary. So, people had time to take care of family matters because, well…family matters. I couldn’t ask them to focus on our work if their mind was someplace else
Now, there are those out there that are cynically thinking, “Yeah, that’s nice if you can do it” and I get that, but I also know that in most cases with some prior planning it can be done. You have to be strategic in your planning, you have to make sure everyone knows how to do their job as well as a good portion of someone else’s job, and you have to hold them accountable for their work regardless of the time of the year, but if you do those things, you can help them celebrate this part of the year in a caring way.
I write this short blog today, because it may help some supervisor somewhere to rethink the way things are going this holiday season. Maybe some latitude to those who deserve it should be given. Maybe setting an example of “a boss who goes home on time to be with his/her family” is in order. Maybe showing people that all that talk about “work/life” balance isn’t just “talk.”
So, I’ll be back in the New Year with some more thoughts and ideas about leadership and how things might be accomplished better, but for now – I’m taking a breather. The question is, “Are you?” And if you are not, when will you?
I sincerely hope you and yours are in great health and fine spirits for the holidays!!!